The Archive Project

A project that is just starting out…

The purpose of the Wings to the Spirit Archival Project is to create an archival record to preserve works from Baha’i artists from around the world. We want to create a virtual, and eventually a physical collection that will cover all forms of art: audio, performance, film, visual, and written and everything covered by these broad categories.

Since the archives is in its infancy we must start off small and work our way to big.  This is a multi-year project and we will be able to process more complex forms of art (audio, film etc.) as the capacity of our collection increases. In order to do this we had to figure out what kind of art forms could be easily gotten and processed in the beginning; so for now we are only asking for visual and written forms of art. Any art form represented though film or music will be called for at a later date as the size and capacity of our archives expands to accommodate larger data files.

To facilitate a smooth acquisition of materials early on, we are also asking only asking for submissions from professional artists in the initial calls to artists. This is not to say that your art has to be your sole source of income, we are defining professional as: people who have post secondary education/training in the arts; people who practice the arts at a professional level; or people who are self taught but have been professionally recognized by awards received or gallery/museum representation.

We are by no means trying to exclude practitioners of the arts at other levels, (hobbyists etc.). Our purpose in making this initial distinction in our call to artists is to reach out to those who already have an established body of work produced over the evolution/development of a career in the arts and already have professional quality documentation from which to select images representative of a cohesive body of work. This is necessitated by the submission requirements for the format and quality of digital submissions in order to preserve the highest quality record of extant works.

Our plan is for calls to artists to go out every six months, paced by the amount of materials received in the previous call. We have made this limitation due to the fact that the archiving is being done on a volunteer basis. Artists will be ‘called’ in groups alphabetically by last name beginning with A-H, followed by I-P and finally Q-Z. This pattern will be repeated each time a call goes out asking for submissions in a new art form from those that have been archived in the past. Our hope is that once the collection reaches a certain level that we can put out open calls to artists or subject or media specific calls. But for now we are simply trying to build a foundation for the collection. Calls to artists will be announced on the Wings to the Spirit Foundation website,  by email to those individuals on our mailing list, and by personal invitation to artists known to the Wings to the Spirit Foundation and/or recommended by other individuals.

For the first call we will be asking for artists who work in the visual arts and the written word whose last name begins with the letters A-H to submit 3-5 works representative of your overall body of work. Specific instructions on how to submit to the archives, contracts and release forms, and all pertinent documentation will be listed on the Wings website. For those submitting written works poetry, essays, plays, short prose, articles related to the arts etc. we ask that for now you only submit short works. We will give specific distinctions between short and full length works in the submission guidelines on the Wings website. Those individuals who have more extensive publications and full length volumes may submit a bibliography of their works for us to draw from for use in future expansion of our archival capacity. All individuals who submit to the archives may be asked for further submissions once we have established their collection in the archives.

Finally, for those individuals who are patrons of the arts but perhaps not artists themselves and may have personal collections of art by Baha’is we ask that you contact us by email: [email protected]  to consult about the possibility of archiving images of your private collection. In order for us to consider this possibility you must know the provenance (ownership) of the works in your collection and be able to get professional quality images of the works in order for them to be able to be archived.

We are very excited about this project and are looking forward to receiving images in response to our first call to artists.

Please email [email protected] for more information.

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